This article originally appeared in the Saratoga Business Journal. As we build the new normal and reconstruct our economy, let’s take a moment to get back to the basics. Whether you are an owner, foreman,… More
Wendy Waldron was interviewed on the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce’s I’m In With the ARCC radio show in October 2020, with host Amanda Blanton.
Here is a partial transcript, and scroll down to give a listen.
Amanda asked, “A lot of business owners are so busy with the day to day things that they don’t have time to think about the big picture, right?”
Yeah, they’re working IN their business all the time, because there’s 187 things that need their attention at any given moment — you’ve got a client walking through the door and now you’ve got PPP loans and labor issues and technology, all kinds of things always happening! There is always something.
But it is those businesses that value working ON their businesses, the leaders that know the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business — that are able to rock. Those are the leaders that are able to have companies that GROW. You could have a very successful business day-to-day but if you’re doing the same things every day then you’ll have the same business, at the end of the day.
So it’s taking the time to invest in internal growth before you invest in external growth, to really think about:
- What IS our business?
- What ARE we accomplishing?
- Who is accomplishing what?
- How do we expect that to happen?
- What resources do we need to garner and appoint in a particular direction?
- How do we need to support this person at this time so that our company can vault forward next year?
It’s that sort of strategy and tying that down to your day-to-day work that’s important. It’s not the strategic plan — we’re not making those any more, the strategic plan with 26 tabs in a huge binder that sits on a shelf and costs a million dollars, that’s just not helpful. Heck, even a five-year-plan is a little ambitious these days!
When I work with companies, we talk about a big dream, the ten-years-out, the very audacious goal, but what we really bring it down to is to get a collective picture in our minds, let’s discuss what our company looks like in three years.
- What does it feel like to be in this company in this environment, in this culture?
- How many customers do we have?
- What sort of business are we running?
- Are we located in the same place?
- How many employees are there?
- What’s the tenor of the office, really, what’s it feel like?
- What are we DOING three years from now”
Then we step it back to what are we going to do next year, what’s the one year plan, further even back from that, what has to happen in the next 90 days to set us up to get there — and it becomes more and more real so that you then work it down to what are you doing every week to get where you need to go.
Because it really is about working ON your business.
It can’t be all the time, but it HAS to be at least sometimes on a regular basis for your business to grow.
The saddest thing is to find someone who has all the success they ever wanted except they’re really struggling, they’re working 60, 80 hours a week, and they’re really clocking that, not just talking about it, and they don’t see a way out, and they don’t see a way out from all of these people who now rely on them, all of these families and it’s a terribly sad thing because you can drown in that you feel like you are not ever able to catch up, not ever able to quite stand up or get in front of that ball.
So it is those leaders that I want to talk to and say:
I can show you a different way, and you’ll see if it’s useful to you or not.
“Do you love it, Mom? I picked it just for you!”
Our proud grade schooler just couldn’t wait to give us our gifts from the Penguin Sale that day. She was beaming with joy! Was that today? Her big chance to shop independently for gifts? She had been looking forward to it for a long time, we received several notices from school, and yet I had forgotten all about it. She hadn’t brought any money with her today.
When I was a kid, we used a pair of nail trimmers that had a guitar on them. I had chosen that gift for my father from just such a sale. Every time we used those little trimmers I was reminded that I had chosen such a useful gift. Every time I mentioned the trimmers he would thank me for the gift, as if I had just given it to him. Every time he spoke of them I warmed with pride. How could I have forgotten the guitar trimmer sale?!
Hopeful eyes were watching me. “Do you love it, Mom?” Tears of frustration and failure streamed down my face. All of the late December magic making, ice storm driving, gingerbread shopping, and assorted darknesses of the Season of Lights caught up with me. As our daughter explained that since we both drank coffee every day, she thought they were great gifts. “I chose them for you from the table for kids who didn’t have any money today,” she beamed a bit more and I continued to weep. SuperDad had an unusual look on his face, too. Gratitude for our school staff, teachers, and volunteers poured from me. Our little village had my back. No one on our house had remembered the Sale, yet this was understood. No one else expected my perfection.
In fact, the organizers of the sale had anticipated this issue. They had a goal or two in mind and weren’t going to let the variability of parents, homelife, or household finances get in the way of achieving those goals. A process had been created, it had been shared with everyone, and it was simple enough to make use of ready volunteers. These leaders executed their plan and succeeded.
My pride kept me from enjoying this mug for quite awhile. I secretly hoped it would disappear and with it, my guilt and self-doubt. But she comments on our mugs every time we use them. Every time she asks me if I still like the mug she chose for me. Every time I thank her for the gift, as if she had just given it to me. Every time she puffs up a bit and calls me her SuperMom.
Lately, my caffeinated courage has tasted especially good in the morning. Days are challenging in so many new kinds of ways. Life will not be “normal” anytime soon. Let’s take it easy on ourselves; let’s be generous and fully present. Let’s set goals, address issues, and execute our plans to move forward together. I will look for the light and thank our super heroes. And I will use this mug.
Wendy Waldron was interviewed on the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce’s I’m In With The Chamber radio show in July 2019, with host Amanda Blanton.
Thank you to the Saratoga Business Journal and Glens Falls Business Journal for the feature story on WaldronWorks this past June.
Wendy Waldron has taken her years of experience and success and created her own consulting firm that reaches clients from Albany to the Adirondack Mountains.
WaldronWorks officially launched in March of this year with a soft opening a few months prior. The firm took on their first client in December, providing operations leadership.
Originally from Queensbury, Waldron said family roots in the area that go back for generations is one reason she wanted to open up her business in the area that she loves, the Adirondacks.
“I love strengthening our community and local economy by supporting our entrepreneurs,” said Waldron.
Recently, WaldronWorks was featured in Brian Rollo’s “Lead With Impact” podcast.
Wendy Waldron is an accomplished EOS Implementer, medical practice executive, project manager, energy aligner, and storyteller. She has long been interested in why we all do what we do, and how we can do it better!
Her work is founded on the belief that human potential is priceless, but that the time and effort we put into our workplaces carry a cost burden.
* How organizations miss out on human potential
* Seeing yourself as the creator of your choices
* Learning to do things without permission
* The danger of structure overwhelming the mission
* The danger of mission without structure
* Why Wendy always worked at the largest organizations she could find
* Working with the healthcare industry
* What is EOS?
* Why everyone needs a coach
* How Barbara Cullen-Chapman gave Wendy trust and confidence
* The power of realizing “It’s Not About You”
Organizational Checkup: https://organizationalcheckup.com
Get A Grip: https://amzn.to/35cRQdp
You can connect with Brian at www.brianrollo.com
Focusing on your goals and growing your business are not easy things to do; entrepreneurs who learn how to gain traction will realize their visions faster.
I was not looking forward to driving in what was likely our last storm of the season. I grumbled through the morning routine. Grumpy, slow, and emotionally unavailable to my family.
The little person in my life was bouncing off the ceiling. She had been trying to tell me something and I wasn’t listening. “Mommy, the TREES look like pictures. They are so beautiful!” She began to talk about Christmas, as only a 6 year old can. She was not able to focus on brushing her teeth or finding her boots.
We were both right. My drive was harrowing and the trees were stunning.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter how we react to the weather. It matters that we can acknowledge the reaction as distinct from the event, and carry on. Cold hearted, you say? Smell the flowers and see the trees? There is time for all of it. The ability to distinguish between stimuli and reaction is vital for growth. If we allow ourselves to focus on the external, we can’t focus on our internal compass or personal agenda.
your business is getting beaten up by the “storms” or if you feel rather
wind-blown by the end of the day, WaldronWorks can help. There will be no
high-pressure pitch, just sharing some simple, proven tools that have helped
thousands of owners and leadership teams. We guide your growth and save your
Steady as you grow.
WaldronWorks provides operations leadership to business owners in our community. We can be especially helpful in transitions and when you’ve hit a ceiling and need to grow. Getting on the same page, building teams, sharing your message, sustaining momentum … these are not easy things to do. Just as we update our vehicles and our technology, we all need to update our management tools, too. We would like to share 25 years of leadership experience and the Entrepreneurial Operating System with your team.
Professionals invest years studying, training, and practicing their skills. They can provide excellent products and services. If the structure of their business hasn’t received the same attention, their teams may lack clarity and accountability.
Let’s make sure you are earning the loyalty that your clients and employees want to give you!
- Is there more apologizing than celebrating?
- Do your people reminisce about “the good old days”?
- Whether your company’s bottom line is suffering or soaring, does each day seem really hard?
- Has the business of putting out fires become your business?
The Entrepreneurial Operating System is a simple, practical approach to business leadership. Engaging with the EOS Proven Process can give your leadership team the tools to clarify vision, execute plans and gain traction, and become a healthier and more cohesive team. EOS Implementers train and support leadership teams in the use of these tools.
EOS was created by Gino Wickman. Following the successful turn-around of his family business, he coached and studied entrepreneurs for years, discovering which tools really worked. He published the book Traction about his system in 2007. To date, more than 10,000 companies have implemented EOS and experienced healthy growth.
Do you wonder what EOS could do for your company? Let’s chat.
We recently came across several boxes of vintage records while going through an estate.
There was also a vintage record “reproducer”, crank and all! We wonder what to do with them. Are they invaluable or should they be tossed? And we need more needles to access them.
What about the old records in your office?
Is your record retention policy turned with a crank?
Do you still have walls full of crank-powered rolling shelves?
Do you have more than one archive?
How much are you paying to store old paper?
Who is responsible for those private practice records, now that the providers are employed?
Do electronic records age out? What’s the capacity of the system we’re using?
We know that an updated records retention policy is the place to start. But how do we make this a priority?
Hire WaldronWorks to assess the scope and impact of your needs. Project management services are available, too. We’ve done this before and would love to do it for you! Let’s make 2019 the year that you make sense of your inherited records.
More than ever, this is a time to be kind. What does that mean in our work lives?
So often, we shy away from the hard conversations. We lose the opportunity for genuine connection because we are trying to be polite or gentle, or just because we’re tired.
Brenee Brown, helps us here, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” In her latest book, Dare to Lead, Dr. Brown states, “Not getting clear with your colleagues about expectations because it feels too hard, or blaming them for not delivering is unkind. Talking about people rather than to them is unkind.”
Are you ready for a snow day? What about a no-show policy refresher?
Clear plans to deal with weather can be made in advance. Clear expectations can be talked through at routine staff meetings. It means a lot when a supervisor opens the conversation, asking how many people would prefer to use a vacation day tomorrow? Reserve the right to approve the definition of “skeleton crew”, but by opening the conversation, you acknowledge the emotions and allow for true ownership.
Are your professional goals clear for the next month? Have you given your team members the gift of clarity?
Are there sales quotas or other goals to be met by year end? If you aren’t going to meet budget, what is an acceptable level of performance? We have all been in that 11th hour, knowing with equal certainty that we will not succeed and that we have worked really hard all year and have overcome many obstacles. How about a leader who shares in the disappointment, but clarifies what is realistically expected in the next few weeks? A leader who has already had the conversations about why the team will miss the mark and has supported structural or personnel changes to support future efforts? The 11th hour (or month) provides the opportunity for true connection, for engagement, and for growth.
Let’s be clear, be kind, and leave a little room for the magic of the season!